3 Bears!

Aug. 24th, 2011 08:17 am
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[personal profile] gayathri
This weekend, we did the Three Bears / Orinda / East Bay Reservoirs route. This one was tough the 1st time I did it last year and it took a long time before I was willing to try it again. But after last weekend's success with the hills even with crowds, I was looking to get some hillclimbing on. @llamaeyes wanted to go on a ride with us, and since she and @rhiannonstone are doing the Piccolo fondo in less than 6 weeks, I thought this would be challenging but good practice. (The Piccolo has a 3 mile, level 5 climb at the midpoint)

This is what we did:


3 Bears Orinda Loop by gayathrik at Garmin Connect - Details

Or at least what I did. I've been really struggling with physical and psychological stressors to hill climbing, around asthma, breathing, and panic attacks. This was going to be the first ride without some dr prescribed assistance on the ride.

I’d completely forgotten about the first hill, causing Byron to start coming up with PSA’s about ‘Hill Blindness’ – I thought they were kind of funny myself, but I don’t think @llamaeyes and @rhiannonstone appreciated it, since they both told me they hated me by the middle of the first hill. (We hadn’t actually gotten to the top of Papa Bear at that point) – the actual top of Papa Bear had an unpleasant surprise (two, actually) – the first was the dead deer that had been left there far too long. ☹

The second was a so-called ‘helpful’ biker who came by and told me that if I was waiting on my friends on the previous hill, that ‘one of them wasn’t going to make it,’ but he didn’t stop to explain what he meant, causing me to freak out, call @byronium and find out nothing was wrong at all. I was so angry!! I tried to catch up to him, but he had passed downhill and was too far.

It took a really long time to get to 5 miles, and people were running out of water, so when @byronium and I got to the Briones State Park entrance, I offered to head in and call him with how far it was to get to water. It was a nice ride in and the park rangers were really sweet. (man, what a great job, you get to hang out and be nice to people outdoors all day!) I called @byronium and filled up my water bottle – I still had a full one, but figured since we were at water, it was dumb not to fill up.

@llamaeyes took my packet of cytomax – I carry an extra one, while biking, even tho my bottles are filled with it, just in case as well. I’m glad I had it for her!

I realized watching the horses standing around, that I really was upset at feeling like I was being blamed for the difficulty of the ride. It made me not really want to ride with anyone, even tho I wanted the company. I tihnk before i headed into the Park, @byronium even teased about staying ahead so they couldnt get to me but that didnt really feel very good - probably because it was the truth - i didnt want to be around people, and they werent being particularly good to me. Post park, @Byronium suggested that @llamaeyes and @rhiannonstone consider turning back while he and I went forward, but they both decided to push on.

I was finally warming up, and was pushing ahead really well – turns out later my moving average speed was over 10 mph! With those hills! My goal is to get to 12-14 with hills and to keep that pace up for 3-5 hours.

While @byronium and I were waiting at the intersection of Bear Creek and Alhambra Valley Road – while I was I wondered what it was like heading the OTHER way. A Firebird pulls up and starts to burn out his tires. My lungs were finally warm and really working well – too well in this case, as the asshole triggered an asthma attack.
It did feel good to lose my temper at him as he burned away.

Heading down Alhambra Valley Road was great, this is the part of the ride I really enjoy – rolling hills, windy roads, and getting into a groove behind @byronium… except he starts to pull away, and while I’m pedaling hard, I feel… dragged down.

I stop to realize I HAVE A FLAT. I completely lose it at this point. Hours to get to my favorite part of the course, my feelings have been hurt by people saying “I hate you” to me, and I see @byronium disappearing in the distance. I envy his ability to ignore the adversity and annoyance, and am sad that he hasn’t even noticed he’s dropped me. @llamaeyes comes by and I tell her to let B know I have a flat, and he should come back because I may need help getting the tire back on – I picked up a new kind of bike tire that has Kevlar in them and its harder to lever them onto the wheel. By the time @rhiannonstone came by, I’d flipped the bike over, swearing like a sailor, and started the process of switching tubes and by the time @byronium came back, I was done. He never got my texts telling him I had a flat, or that I didn’t need his help after all. The new Kevlar tire IS harder to get on but not impossible.

He’s already sent the others up Baby Bear and we take off. I get a good head of speed going and fell back into actually enjoying the ride. Being in the moment has its advantages!

We get up Baby Bear easily. I’m so pleased with my speed and gearing up that hill, and really don’t want to stop at all. The next part heading back to the car is always ‘easier’ in for me, I don’t know if its just that I’m hitting that space where exercise doesn’t hurt, and I’m in a good zone or what, but I managed most of the way back in my middle gears.

Seeing the intersection of where we’d started our hilly climb was joyful. Trying to get across the street at the park we’d parked at wasn’t so much fun. I ended up walking across, but at least biking to the car. ☺

Happily for me, @llamaeyes apologized for hurting my feelings before she even left, and after I told @rhiannonstone the next day, she did too.

Blood sugar was great during the ride, but post ride, being stuck in traffic trying to get back over the bridge, it dropped badly, leaving me feeling ill for most the rest of the evening. Muscles were fine, slightly sore two days later, but otherwise good. And, most importantly - no panic attacks! That's so amazing for me, I want to reiterate it: NO PANIC ATTACKS.

I wish we werent already committed to doing the piccolo fondo route this weekend. I really want to tackle this: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/47465816. Probably Labor Day!


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